Hermes Trismegistus. Inleiding, teksten, commentaren,Roelof van den Broek
Roelof van den Broek. Hermes Trismegistus. Inleiding, teksten, commentaren
(Pimander 15), Amsterdam 2006
Bound, 26,5 x 20,5 cm., 366 pp.
ISBN: 978 90 71608 22 3
Dutch | € 37,50
In the Graeco-Roman world of the first centuries of our era Hermes Trismegistus was regarded as an important teacher of ancient wisdom, who had lived in Egypt in a distant past. His teachings were explained, either by himself or by his immediate disciples, in numerous writings of the period. The hermetic teachings were highly diverse in nature. The Church Father Lactantius was not wrong to say that Hermes was knowledgeable in many arts and sciences, because a variety of treatises, from astrological observations to magical incantations, alchemical recipes and religious-philosophical treatises, were written under his name.
Two of the main Hermetic works, Corpus Hermeticum, introduced, translated (into Dutch) and annotated by Roelof van den Broek and Gilles Quispel, and Asclepius, introduced, translated (into Dutch) and annotated by Gilles Quispel have so far appeared in the series ‘Pimander. Texts and Studies published by the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica’. The third hermetic text edition in this set is Hermes Trismegistus. Inleiding, Teksten, Commentaren, by Roelof van den Broek.
The hermetic fragments from the anthology of Johannes Stobaeus (5th c.) and the testimonia of the later Greek and Roman literature occupied an important place in the standard edition of Nock & Festugière (1945-1954). Van den Broek also translated, annotated and introduced these texts. But his new edition offers a lot more: texts which had not been discovered at the time Nock & Festugière prepared their edition, such as new Greek fragments, now known as the Fragments of Vienna and the Hermetica of Oxford as well as the Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus. The latter are a collection of brief observations, which have been preserved in their entirety in Armenian and partly in Greek. The final newly discovered text to have been included is On the Ogdoad and Ennead, which was part of the manuscript find at Nag HammadiThis is the first Dutch annotated scholarly translation of these texts. Especially the latter text, On the Ogdoad and Ennead, is important for our knowledge of hermetism. The often debated question whether there existed hermetic communities in Alexandria in the first centuries CE with initiations, prayers, hymns, meals etc., can now be settled.
In the General Introduction Roelof van den Broek discusses the character of hermetism and hermetic views in Antiquity in great detail. The Introduction contributes towards a better understanding of the backgrouds and significance of hermetism at the time of its origin and departs from the most recent scholarly insights